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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 May, 2003, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Train fire relatives' anxious wait

By Rajyasri Rao
BBC correspondent in Delhi

Anxious relatives of those travelling on the Golden Temple Express gathered at Delhi's central railway station on Thursday to find out news of their loved ones.

Police and officials at Delhi station
The station was teeming with officials and police

Many boarded a train specially laid on to take worried relatives to the disaster area.

Railway authorities had set up a special counter at the platform to issue passes to those who wished to travel to the town of Ludhiana, near the site of the disaster.

An information board listed the injured, and the hospitals where they were receiving treatment.

The chief public relations officer for the railway's northern region, Devinder Sandhu, told the BBC: "We are doing all we can to ensure relatives get the information they need."

Tell the authorities that what they are doing is not enough
BN Chadha

He said the injured had been admitted to some of the best hospitals in Ludhiana.

"And railways authorities and the Ludhiana administration have begun the process of identifying the dead."

But some of the relatives planning to travel said arrangements were far from adequate.

No news

BN Chadha had come to the station looking for information about his niece and her family.

He told the BBC the authorities were not doing enough.

Railways spokesman Devinder Sandhu
Railway officials say they are doing all they can

He was worried that the names of the dead had not been announced.

"Tell the authorities that what they are doing is not enough," he told the BBC.

There was also no information about those who were not on the injured list but were on the train and had not yet been in touch with their families, he said.

Another man, Mr Bhatia, said he had heard from one of three relatives who were on board the train, but was still not sure about the fate of the other two.

The authorities say identifying bodies is proving difficult as most of those who died were burnt alive.

Many were charred beyond recognition.

Railway officials will make arrangements for more relatives to travel to Punjab as the identity of those who died or were injured becomes known.

The government has offered 400,000 rupees ($8,330) in compensation to families of each of those killed.




SEE ALSO:
Dozens die in Indian train blaze
15 May 03  |  South Asia
In pictures: India train disaster
15 May 03  |  Photo Gallery


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